Wild introduce new head coach John Hynes, players discuss transition from Dean Evason

Minnesota Wild introduce new head coach John Hynes

The Minnesota Wild introduced new head coach John Hynes at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday morning.

Click the video box above to watch the full press conference with new Wild head coach John Hynes and Wild general manager Bill Guerin, and click the video box below for interviews with Wild players Jared Spurgeon, Marcus Foligno and Brock Faber

Wild players discuss transition to new head coach John Hynes

Hynes is the seventh head coach in Wild history, and it’s his third head coaching position in the NHL.

His first NHL head coaching was with the New Jersey Devils. When he was hired ahead of the 2015-16 season, he was the youngest head coach in the NHL. He was on the Devils bench until midway through the 2019-20 season.

Shortly after, he was hired to replace Peter Laviolette as head coach of the Nashville Predators, where he remained through the end of the 2022-23 season.

Prior to his NHL posts, Hynes was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins top minor-league club in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for five seasons from 2010-2015.

During that same time, current Wild general manager Bill Guerin was serving as the Penguins assistant GM and had frequent interaction with Hynes.

Hynes had also served as head coach of the USA Hockey National Developmental Team for six seasons.

He’d also served as an assistant coach for nine seasons – from 1998-2000, 2001-2002 and 2003-2009.

Mixed in with his stints with USA Hockey were assistant coaching spots in college hockey at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and the University of Wisconsin.

He played college hockey at Boston University from 1994-1997 and was part of the 1995 National Championship-winning team that beat Minnesota in the National Semifinals.

Hynes, 48, is a native of Warwick, Rhode Island.

The following story was provided by the Associated Press

A day after firing Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods amid an awful start to the season and an ongoing seven-game losing streak, Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin introduced Evason’s replacement, John Hynes.

Hynes and Guerin talked to the media for about 50 minutes Tuesday morning, touching on everything from why the coaching change was made, what’s next and they’re relationship that brought Hynes to Minnesota. The full press conference can be viewed in the YouTube player above.

While Guerin didn’t provide terms of Hynes’ deal, he did say, “this is not a one-year thing,” so Hynes will likely get more than just the rest of the season leading the team. Additionally, the club elevated Patrick Dwyer from the Iowa Wild to the NHL staff to fill Woods’ role as an assistant coach. The 40-year-old played 416 NHL games with Carolina from 2008-15 before moving into coaching in the AHL in the 2019-20 season with the Chicago Wolves. He joined the Iowa Wild in July.

“I just … I didn’t feel like it was going to come back. What I was seeing, I think it had just gotten to that point where almost no matter what they did the guys were having a hard time executing and generating and generating offense and just, something, something had to change,” Guerin said regarding why he made the coaching change now. He said that “it” he referenced is a little bit of everything. It’s the confidence, the swagger, the ability to make plays.”

The Wild have struggled mightily through the first two months of the season, having scored fewer goals (57) than only three teams while tying Columbus for third-most goals allowed (77). Despite that, Guerin said rebuilding the players’ confidence is the top priority.

“I think the guys as a team and as individuals, we need to help them get their confidence back,” the GM said.

It’s not the first time Hynes has taken over for a club in the middle of a season, so how will he try to get the team on the right track?

Hynes said the team “is hurt” so connecting with the players first is important and “pinpointing simple things” comes next.

He noted, “You’re not gonna come in in-season and make wholesale changes but I think there’s, you wanna work on identity, you wanna work on the mindset of the team, and I think you come in and make some slight tweaks. … I think when you can pinpoint certain things — you come in to the team and say OK, these things don’t necessarily need to be changed, they are strong points of the team. Here’s some things that we think are gonna be tweaks that you can do on the fly — I think that invigorates the players, invigorates the team and then I think you can get up and running in an in-season change.”

He’ll be behind the bench Tuesday night when the Wild host St. Louis, and he’ll be without one of the team’s starting forwards.

The Wild (5-10-4=14) haven’t won a game since Nov. 7, when they beat the New York Islanders 4-2.